Friday, December 23, 2011

NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base

I really don't remember when I bought this primer, but I've been  using it consistently for a couple of weeks now and forming my opinions on it. I first heard about this eye shadow base from Youtube and was able to find it at a store in my neighborhood. This is great since I was hoping to find an eyeshadow primer that was more affordable than my Urban Decay Primer Potion.

The packaging is quite nice and modern, although there is quite a bit of writing on the tube. Around the outside of the tube, NYX was able to include their company and product name, product description, ingredients, and contact info. If anything, the packaging is pretty informative.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Essie: Shine of the Times

I'm a bit of a sucker for things that are iridescent and when Nails Inc. released their Special Effects collection with sets of two nail polishes, I was totally admiring the iridescent "top coats" as they call it. But then I heard Essie also released their own version as part of their Lux Effects collection and I personally prefer to wear this polish over light colors anyways so I went ahead and chose Essie's.

You get a nice range of irregular sizes of the iridescent flakes with this polish and it feels very smooth to the touch after it dries. The drying time is also rather fantastic since it doesn't take very long at all. This polish also has more of the orange toned glow and I'm happy with it. However, I'd like to note that Nails Inc. does have three different types of glow effects if you want some choice. I'm wearing this over Sally Hansen's Barracuda and used 2 to 3 coats of the Essie polish. The overall effect looks wonderful and somewhat appropriate for winter, or is that just me?  I also used my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat over this just in case.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

China Glaze Glittering Garland

I couldn't help but pick up another holiday nail polish from China Glaze. I like glitter, but the chore of removing it has me keeping it at arms length. However, I found that China Glaze's micro glitter nail polishes gives me the best of both worlds. I get to have the sparkle of glitter but removal is just like regular varnish. So when I took a closer look of this one, I had to buy it.

This is a deep forest green with lighter micro glitter. I only needed two coats to get complete opacity. Personally, I think this might be a color I prefer to have on my toes. But for the holidays it's a nice festive color to have in rotation with my other seasonal shades.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters Part 2!

I think I went a bit overboard, but this time I did get these lip butters during the Revlon buy one get one 50% off sale. That counts for something doesn't it? Four of them are thanks to my mom since she's been stopping in on every Walgreens and CVS store she sees to look for these lip butters and would call me to read the names of the shades if they happen to be in stock and picked them up for me. So, thanks mom!

If you're looking for swatches of Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, and Sugar Plum, click: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sally Hansen: Wine Not

This week's color is a nice rich red color that makes me think of the holidays. Personally, I think this shade is a bit too bright and red to be considered wine. This polish is almost reaching the side of burgundy but it's definitely not a burgundy shade.

I really like that this is not an intimidating red to wear at all. Most likely, the pink undertone is what makes it so forgiving. When I really focus up close on this polish, I see that it has very fine pink toned shimmer. In fact, the first coat of this polish had me a bit worried because it looked fuchsia. In the photo I have on 3 coats, although I think 2 would have sufficed.

If you're looking for a fun red to wear that's available all year around, I'd check this shade out.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sally Hansen: Save the Date

Today just wasn't my day for nail painting. I had the hardest time since I didn't have a steady hand and had to fix messed up nails too often. But it was time to do them again and I really wanted to try out this new color.

Save the date is a gorgeous rich maroon color with magenta shimmer. It's a great shade for the colder seasons because it's a great pop of color in the midst of gloomy weather but also sophisticated and a little vampy.

If you're a fan of the Diamond Strength line of nail polishes, I'd go and checkout your local drugstore soon. I was able to get this color on sale because my local Walgreens has started selling a repackaged version of Diamond Strength, so I'm assuming they're trying to get rid of all the old bottles. The bottle now has a new design, looking more like a gemstone.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters

I have been so busy lately. By the time I get home, there definitely isn't any good natural light left for photographing. Anyways, between my last post and now, I was able to acquire 3 lip butters. My goal was to actually get the deeper colors and the reds, but I've been to at least 10 different Walgreens in San Francisco and only the lighter shades or the browner shades were left in the store. I'm definitely still on the lookout for them since I hear that these will be permanent, but I do want them sooner rather than later. I guess this same mentality is the reason all shades I'm searching for are snapped up so quickly!

FYI, I have since acquired 6 more lip butters and swatches can be found by clicking here: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters Part 2!

First off, I have to say that these lip butters are as fantastic as all the hype brings you to believe. They are hydrating, pigmented, and they give you shine. There is no taste nor any scent, which is a major plus for me. As for staying power, I have no complaints really. They aren't advertised as long wearing so I'm not surprised at all that I need to reapply after my meal, besides that they last just fine for me. These lip butters are just that great and I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

China Glaze: Snow Globe

I had heard about the new China Glaze holiday nail polishes since October, however I was unable to find a single one anywhere. My local Sally Beauty Supply suggested that I come back in November to check again, so I waited and when I was able to I dropped by and picked up Snow Globe. I love opalescent or pearly glitter and when I heard about this one I was basically on the hunt for it. Realistically, I wouldn't wear this on bare nails, but I have great plans for layering it over colors.

Here I have on Essie's Smooth Sailing and on top of that I have on China Glaze's Snow Globe. I think this looks quite fun, although not quite fall in spirit. Still, I'd rather satisfy my whims when it comes to my nails than be a slave to seasonal trends.

I will have to give fair warning that this formula is on the thick side, just a bit. Also, even though the formula is thick, the application of glitter isn't. For the photo above, I had to apply two coats for it to look that way. However, I like the hexagonal and smaller round glitter this one has. I had seen that Orly also released a similar polish except it had much smaller glitter and formula was a bit murky while China Glaze was clear. I also hear that Deborah Lippman, Stila, and M.A.C. are also releasing glitter polish along these lines but the price tag packs a wallop. So for price point and appearance, China Glaze won it's place in my collection.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wet n' Wild: Baked, Not Fried

I've finally gotten around to posting about the new Wet n' Wild Baked, Not Fried palette. I'm quite excited about these eyeshadows, however, San Francisco has been rather gloomy and overcast so photographing the swatches were a bit of a pain. I could never get the lighting right and good lighting would disappear so very quickly.

Now as you may have noticed from the photograph, this palette has actually been called Bake-Off Contest prior to the release in Walgreens stores. I suppose decisions were made to swap the names for the neutral and blue baked palettes. This particular set is now officially sold with the name Baked, Not Fried and comes with a copper shimmer pencil.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wet n' Wild: Baking a Cake

Last week my local Walgreens finally stocked the new Wet n' Wild baked palettes. I picked up two of them but have only been able to play around with the more pinky purple palette.

Working with this palette, I would have to say that four out of the six shades give great pigmentation when dry. Now as for the sort of periwinkle and magenta shades, although quite bold in the pan, don't perform very well when dry at all. The magenta shade was even actually kind of chalky when I attempted to swatch it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sally Hansen: Gilty Pleasure

There's a 2 for $10 sale going on at my local Walgreens for the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. I've been ignoring it for a while now but yesterday they had new colors that I haven't seen carried at this one before and I couldn't help myself.

It's quite a pale metallic gold, but this is what really convinced me into buying this shade. It's so wearable and sort of a non-conventional neutral. It's a great color for all seasons. I applied three coats of polish in the photo above but I think two would have sufficed. The formula is very smooth and easy to apply as well. Plus, the name, Gilty Pleasure, is kind of clever and fun.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reese's Pieces Nails?

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd try painting my nails to match the theme. However, they ended up reminding me more of Reese's Pieces candy, except for the yellow but whenever I think of Reese's the dark brown and orange are the dominant colors anyway.

For this look, I used China Glaze's Midtown Magic and Sally Hansen's Nailgrowth Miracle in Perfect Peach. I also alternated the colors on my nails so both hands so the position of the colors are different on each hand.

As you can see, one hand has an orange pinky while the other has a dark colored pinky. Keeps it interesting I think. I do wish the photos were better able to show the warmth of that Midtown Magic though. It's showing up more black than I would like it to. Still, I'm liking how it looks and I want to try this with other colors in the future.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Essie: Smooth Sailing

This week's nail color for me is Essie's Smooth Sailing, a shade from their Braziliant collection this summer. Described as "a breezy lavender blue with a reflection of pearl," it definitely comes off as more of an understated and relaxed color instead of bright and loud.

This shade is just so very lovely and I love the periwinkle and lavender shimmer in it. I did have to apply 3 coats since this polish was a bit streaky for me. Apparently, this isn't the case for others that have used this particular polish. Still, the application wasn't too difficult and the drying process was fairly quick. For $8, this polish was a bit of a splurge for me, but it was worth it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sephora Standing Brush Set

Are you looking for a nice travel brush set? I've been putting off getting myself a nice brush roll because I wasn't able to find the "right" one yet. Well, I was browsing the new arrivals on the Sephora website and came across this set, not a brush roll at all, but the design really called out to me for practical purposes.

After seeing this online, I told myself that I would be on the lookout for this set the next time I was at Sephora. I was actually pretty lucky to get my hands on this one because it was the last one in the store. For just $25 this set includes the fold over pouch and five brushes. Quite the steal actually. You'll have three eye brushes: a medium eyeshadow brush, a dome smudge brush, and an angled liner brush. As for face brushes, a powder brush and small contour brush are included. I've been using the brushes for about a week now and my favorites are the liner brush and small contour brush which I find works really well as a blush brush. I personally found the dome smudge brush to be a bit rough but still decent. The eyeshadow brush was a bit too big and fluffy for me and realistically I don't need that many all over type of eyeshadow brushes so I wish they had included a small eyeshadow brush instead.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara

I've been hearing quite a bit about this mascara and how it it's brush is comparable to the Diorshow's brush. Although I do think this is a very good mascara for a drugstore brand, it does fall a bit short when being compared to Diorshow. On it's own though, this product is a great deal for the quality.

For nearly over a week, I've been using this mascara everyday. I can't say much on whether it made my lashes any stronger than they were before, but it does give my lashes instant length and fullness. The formula is drier, which is a total plus for me because I have the type of eyes where the mascara can smudge under my eyes if I blink while the mascara is still wet on the lashes. Doesn't happen all the time, but is very frustrating when it does. It's definitely not as dry as the Diorshow or my new Bad Gal mascara, but it's dry enough to satisfy me. There is minor clumping, nothing a spoolie can't fix, but there is some. Overall, I have to say this mascara pleased me so much that I would choose it over my Clinique mascaras.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

China Glaze: Midtown Magic

Yesterday I picked Midtown Magic from China Glaze's Metro collection.

This is an espresso shade with gold and copper micro glitter. I applied two coats of polish in the photo, so the color certainly looks more black than brown. However in person, you'll definitely notice a warmth to this deep and rich color. Personally, this is a nice sophisticated way to wear a dark shade for fall.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

DIY twistbands or Ribbon Ties

4/18/12 Triggered by a comment by Jessica S., I have discovered that foldover elastic trim is the specific name of the elastic used for these hair ties. It's so much easier to find this trim once you have that name! Be sure that you get the ones that are 5/8 of an inch in width. And if there is any need for clarification, please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them. I still use these almost everyday and they really are quite durable.

9/29/12 I posted a new tutorial for Lace Twistband ties! Have a look.


I've been trying out the twistband that came in my Birchbox and I really like it. However, it's sold 3 for $5 or $2 each if you want a custom color at the twistband website. Then, while checking out what's new at the Sephora website, I came across Ribbon Hair Ties and you get 8 for $8. I love the design, but it's a simple one and easy to achieve myself. So I went to my local fabric outlet and checked out their selection of elastic ribbon trim. I was able to purchase pink and purple elastic trim, a yard each for $0.50 per yard. Having attempted a few, I estimate that I could make a total of 10 hair ties for just $1. That's a whole lot of savings! And they look no different that the ones being sold for so much more.

Don't they look cute? The black one is the twistband that was sent to me in my Birchbox, the rest are my efforts. The process is super easy and all you need is a ruler and a pair of fabric scissors or super sharp scissors. And of course, some elastic ribbon trim.